How a tiny Indian state is battling joblessness through entrepreneurship
Sikkim has many distinctions that give the tiny state nestled in the Himalayas between India and China a larger-than-life profile. It is the only organic state in India, is litter- and defecation-free, has high literacy and has the best working conditions for women. But the challenge of unemployment it faces is huge which has made many embrace entrepreneurship to not just generate jobs for themselves but to provide employment to the state’s aspirational youth.
Amid negligible presence of the private sector and government employment opportunities already saturated, a small but dedicated band of young entrepreneurs is meeting the challenge head on — using innovative start-ups to generate jobs. Home to nearly 610,000 people, Sikkim boasts of being the third-richest state (after Delhi and Chandigarh) by per capita income in the country.
In 2008, Sikkim became India’s first open defecation-free state. Eight years later, it became the country’s first and the only organic state. A nationwide survey in 2016 said the state had the best working conditions for women in India. The literacy rate is seventh highest and its young are educated but, without jobs, drifting into drugs and despair.